Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls (CMC) constitutes that part of pharmaceutical development that deals with the nature of the drug substance and drug product, the manner in which both are made, and the manner by which the manufacturing process is shown to be in control.
New Chemical Entity development process is divided into pre-clinical and clinical work.
Pre-clinical. New Chemical Entities (NCEs)(also known as New Molecular Entities [NMEs]) are compounds which emerge from the process of drug discovery. These will have promising activity against a particular biological target thought to be important in disease; however, little will be known about the safety, toxicity, pharmacokinetics and metabolism of this NCE in humans. It is the function of drug development to assess all of these parameters prior to human clinical trials. A further major objective of drug development is to make a recommendation of the dose and schedule to be used the first time an NCE is used in a human clinical trial (“first-in-man” [FIM] or First Human Dose [FHD]).
In addition, drug development is required to establish the physicochemical properties of the NCE: its chemical makeup, stability, solubility. The process by which the chemical is made will be optimized so that from being made at the bench on a milligram scale by a synthetic chemist, it can be manufactured on the kilogram and then on the ton scale. It will be further examined for its suitability to be made into capsules, tablets, aeresol, intramuscular injectable, subcuteneous injectable, or intravenous formulations. Together these processes are known in preclinical development as Chemistry, Manufacturing and Control (CMC).
Many aspects of drug development are focused on satisfying the regulatory requirements of drug licensing authorities. These generally constitute a number of tests designed to determine the major toxicities of a novel compound prior to first use in man. It is a legal requirement that an assessment of major organ toxicity be performed (effects on the heart and lungs, brain, kidney, liver and digestive system), as well as effects on other parts of the body that might be affected by the drug (e.g. the skin if the new drug is to be delivered through the skin). While, increasingly, these tests can be made using in vitro methods (e.g. with isolated cells), many tests can only be made by using experimental animals, since it is only in an intact organism that the complex interplay of metabolism and drug exposure on toxicity can be examined.
The information gathered from this pre-clinical testing, as well as information on CMC, and is submitted to regulatory authorities (in the US, to the FDA), as an Investigational New Drug application or IND. If the IND is approved, development moves to the clinical phase.